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Friday, September 5, 2014

IT'S A "SOUTHERN" THING

IT'S A "SOUTHERN" THING!
Photo Credit: Shellmont Inn
It's FAMILY WEEKEND at Georgia Tech, and we're hosting a brunch tailgate party for family and friends that definitely includes a southern flair. And this menu includes many items I can prepare well in advance - takes the pressure off on game day, so I can have fun too!

Georgia Tech is facing Georgia "SOUTHERN" this week, and it's another early one - this time it's a noon kickoff.  So - another fabulous brunch it is, and we will enjoy something delicious post game as well.

TAILGATE TIME: 9:00AM

MENU:
BUTTERMILK HAM SANDWICHES
LEEK TOMATO AND MUSHROOM QUICHE
SPINACH CHEESE BARS
SAUSAGE CHEDDAR MUFFINS
BLINTZ SOUFFLE with fruit
STRAWBERRY OATMEAL BARS

DRINK DU JOUR:
GEORGIA TECH GREYHOUND

POSTGAME NOSH:
MEXICAN DIP
HOMEMADE SALSA
SALSA VERDE CHICKEN TACOS
MISSISSIPPI MUD

The game may not be the biggest state rivalry (Georgia Southern is a Division I team in the Sun Belt Conference, and Georgia Tech is a Division I team in the ACC), but...Florida lost to a very good Georgia Southern last year.  Georgia Tech really needs to play well to win.

Georgia Tech's Head Coach, Paul Johnson, was Southern's Head Coach for 5 seasons and led them to 2 National Championships. Both schools run the same offense. Should make for an interesting game!


vs


BUTTERMILK HAM SANDWICHES WITH TOMATO JAM
(Adapted from the cooking channel)
Photo Credit: Lostrecipesfound
***In a pinch, you can always use store bought biscuits or small rolls (like Hawaiian).  This recipe makes 6 good sized biscuits - I'll be serving around 25-30 people, so I'll quadruple (at least) the recipe for my crowd.
BISCUITS:
5 cups flour, plus more for dusting
2 TBSP plus 2 tsp baking powder
2 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP salt
1/2 cup plus 2 TBSP vegetable shortening
8 TBSP unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 cups buttermilk

  • SANDWICHES:
    Tomato Jam, recipe follows
    3/4 cup grated Cheddar or Gruyere cheese
    1/4 lb thinly sliced good ham (such as Smithfield)

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Make the Biscuits: Using a sieve over a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Repeat. Add the butter and shortening and, using your fingertips, mix until crumbly. Add the buttermilk and mix with a wooden spoon until the dough just comes together. (Don't over mix!)

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and, using a rolling pin, roll out to 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick rectangle. Using a 3 to 4-inch round cutter, punch out biscuits and transfer them to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Gently press the dough scraps into another rectangle and punch out more biscuits. Discard any scraps. Lightly dust the tops of the biscuits with flour and bake until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. Let the biscuits cool slightly. (You'll only need 6 biscuits for the sandwiches, so serve the rest with soup, spread with butter and jam, or just freeze for another day.)

Make the Sandwiches: Preheat the broiler. Split 6 of the biscuits in half and spread the top halves with 1 tablespoon of tomato jam each. Divide the ham among the bottom halves of the biscuits and sprinkle the cheese over the top. Arrange the bottom halves a baking sheet and place under a broiler until the cheese melts. Cover with the biscuit tops and serve immediately.

***Note: if serving at a tailgate party - simply make the sandwiches in advance, and then heat the biscuit sandwiches wrapped in foil on your grill until the cheese melts.

      Tomato Jam:
      1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
      1/2 onion, finely chopped
      4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
      Leaves from 2 rosemary sprigs, finely chopped
      Pinch red pepper flakes
      4 cups peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped plum tomatoes
      Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
      Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
      Heat 2 TBSP of oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, rosemary and pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until soft and fragrant.
      Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
      Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
      Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have given up most their water and turned a deep orange red, about 15 to 20 minutes.Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and season with S & P, to taste.


      All done and ready to transport!

      Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
      Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

      LEEK TOMATO AND MUSHROOM QUICHE
      (Adapted from Pip and Ebby)
    Photo Credit: Pip and Ebby
I don't usually fix a quiche for tailgating. Here's why: people would rather just pick up and nosh small bite size foods rather than commit to a whole triangle of quiche. But, I'm breaking my rules here, because this quiche sounds so good! I'm sure you could make mini-quiches that would work, but I am not sure of the cook time, and don't have the time to experiment, so 2 regular sized quiches it is.

    Two 9-inch ready-to-bake pie crusts or frozen pie crusts
    2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
    1 leek, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (white and light green parts only) 
    8 oz. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
    1⁄4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
    8 oz. sliced fresh mushrooms, chopped
    Salt and pepper, to taste
    2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
    8 large eggs
    1 1⁄2 cups milk
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Unroll the pie crusts and press into two 9-inch pie plates. Poke plenty of holes into the surface of the dough with a fork or (use frozen pie crusts).
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Decrease oven temperature to 350 degrees F. 
  
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add leeks and cook until soft.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

In a bowl combine the leeks, tomatoes, parsley, mushrooms, S & P.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Add the cheese and mix.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Divide the mixture between the 2 pie plates.  In another bowl whisk together the eggs and milk.  Divide that mixture between the 2 pie plates and pour over the veggie cheese mixture.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Bake for 50 minutes or until eggs are cooked through.  Let cool for 20 minutes.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
***These are great to make in advance and either serve at room temperature or heat briefly on the grill at the tailgate party.

    SPINACH CHEESE BARS
(Adapted from Just A Pinch)
Photo Credit: Just a Pinch
These little gems are wonderful for an appetizer, an addition to a brunch menu or a supplement to any meal.  You can serve them warm or at room temperature.

1 pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed out excess water
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 stick butter, softened
1 lb monterey jack cheese, cubed or shredded
2 eggs
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Mix together all ingredients in a bowl (I find it's easiest to just mix it all up with your hands).
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Spread in a 9x13 pan.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Bake in a 350 F degree oven for 40-45 minutes.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Cut into small squares to serve. Can be eaten warm or at room temperature.  Doesn't get much easier than this recipe and . . . they're fabulous!

SAUSAGE AND CHEDDAR MUFFINS
(Adapted from Plain Chicken)
Photo Credit: Plain chicken
Even though I'm not a fan of adding canned soup to anything, I'm going to TRY this recipe.  It got good reviews and will be easy to make in advance and transport to my tailgate.  It's basically the old classic sausage cheese balls, but better.

1 lb. hot ground pork sausage (can use turkey sausage with excellent results!)
1 tsp onion powder
3 cups all-purpose baking mix (Buy the kind with no trans fat!)
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed fiesta nacho cheese soup
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 cup buttermilk
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Cook sausage and onion in a large skillet over medium to med-high heat, stirring until it crumbles and no longer pink. Drain and cool.
***OR you can do what I'm doing and buy pre-cooked crumbled sausage and save yourself this step.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine sausage, baking mix, and shredded cheese in a large bowl.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Make a well in the center of the mixture. Stir together the soup and buttermilk. Add to sausage mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Spoon into lightly greased mini muffin tins, filling to tops of cups.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Bake for 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Makes roughly 60 mini muffins.

***I totally left off the onion powder when making these.  It didn't matter - they're delish without it!

BLINTZ SOUFFLE
(Adapted from Leila Diner)
Photo Credit: Food.com
This recipe comes from my oldest and dearest friend (Cheryl Altshuler) whose mother (Leila) used to make it.  It's so delicious; people will RAVE!
3 TBSP butter
2 (13 ounce) packages frozen cheese-filled blintzes
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 TBSP orange juice
Additional sour cream (sprinkled with cinnamon)
Fresh fruit as a topping
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Melt butter in a 9x13 glass dish. Place blintzes over butter in one layer.

Blend the other ingredients with the eggs and pour over the blintzes.



Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees F or until the top starts to brown. The souffle can be served with extra sour cream, powdered sugar, and fruit.

STRAWBERRY OATMEAL BARS
(Adapted from Ree Drummond)
Photo Credit: The Food Network
1 3/4 sticks salted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for greasing pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
One 10 to 12-ounce jar strawberry preserves (raspberry preserves would be amazing too!)
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-by-13-inch rectangular pan. Mix together the butter, flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Press half the oat mixture into the prepared pan.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Spread with the strawberry preserves.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Sprinkle the other half of the oat mixture over the top and pat lightly.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Bake until light brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely, and then cut into squares.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
All cut up and ready to go to my tailgate!
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

GEORGIA TECH GREYHOUND
Photo Credit: Google Images
I just enjoyed this drink at one of our favorite local restaurants (Luciano's).  It's refreshing and delicious!  I thought it would be perfect to serve at a brunch tailgate - to go with the gold theme!  In researching the recipe though I found that it's known as a "Bichon Frise Greyhound" if you use pink grapefruit juice!  But somehow a "Bichon Frise Greyhound" doesn't really go with football... ;)

1 ounce vodka
1 ounce St-Germain liqueur
2 ounces pale yellow grapefruit juice (fresh squeezed would be great)
Ice
1 lemon wedge
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Combine the vodka, St-Germain, and grapefruit juice with ice in a cocktail shaker. Squeeze the lemon wedge into the shaker and then add the wedge to the mixture. Shake vigorously and pour over fresh ice into a chilled cocktail glass.***I'll make up a pitcher of these for my tailgate.  Simply add all the ingredients into a pitcher and chill.  Serve by squeezing lemon in a glass and then serve over ice.  And there you have it!  GO JACKETS!!!!


BLENDER SALSA
(Adapted from mountainmamacooks)
Photo Credit: Mountainmamacooks
This salsa is one I make all the time and keep on hand in Ball jars.  It's, in my opinion, perfect.
1- 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1- 10 oz can Rotel
1/2 small onion, roughly chopped (preferably Vidalia)
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2-1 jalapeno, seeded
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin
small to medium size handful of cilantro, washed
juice of 1 lime
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Here's the lime I prefer - it's even better than fresh squeezed (in my opinion):

Put all the ingredients in the base of a food processor  and pulse to combine for about 30 seconds until all the ingredients are finely chopped and salsa is desired consistency. Taste and add more seasoning if needed.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
And voila! Ready to take to my tailgate:
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
MEXICAN DIP

This dip is so simple it's silly, but I can tell you from loads of experience, it will be devoured in no time, and you'll have plenty of happy people at your tailgate! In a glass pie plate layer the following in order:

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 jar salsa (enough to cover the cream cheese completely)
8-12 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Microwave (or put on the grill to heat up) until hot and bubbly. Serve with tortilla chips. So easy.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

SALSA VERDE CHICKEN TACOS
(Adapted from Gimmesomeoven)


Photo Credit: Gimmesomeoven
6 boneless, frozen, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups salsa verde
1 bottle beer (can always substitute with chicken broth)
2 teaspoons cumin
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Additional ingredients for serving:
corn tortillas
cilantro
avocados
onion, chopped (if desired)
additional salsa verde

Add chicken to the slow cooker. Top with salsa verde and beer, and sprinkle with cumin.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Turn the chicken so that both sides are coated. Cover with lid and cook for 3-4 hours on high heat, or 7-8 hours on low heat.

The chicken is ready when easily shreds with a fork. Shred the chicken in the slow cooker, and toss with the juices. Then remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and serve warm. Or, store the shredded chicken in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

MISSISSIPPI MUD

Photo Credit: Eat-snooth.com
This dessert is BY FAR my most requested recipe! It's decadently delicious, and I've been making it since I first had it at a girlfriend's house in high school. It's crazy good!!! It's also perfect to prepare in advance and freeze. 

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
4 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans, toasted (optional)
1 (10.5-ounce) bag miniature marshmallows
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Mix butter and sugar. Add eggs and mix well. Sift dry ingredients (cocoa, flour and salt), and add to the butter mixture, then add vanilla (and nuts if desired). Pour batter into a greased and floured 9x13 baking pan.  Bake about 25-30 minutes (until a wooden pick comes out clean) and then pour mini marshmallows on top.  (Make the frosting while the cake is baking.) Return to the oven and bake an additional 5-10 minutes - just until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and frost.

Frosting
1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
FROSTING

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  I start with the butter and sugar and cocoa, and then add the milk.  You may add a bit more or less depending on the consistency you prefer. Finish by adding the vanilla. Spread on the warm cake.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Drizzle Chocolate Frosting over warm cake. Cool completely. And voila!!!

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
All cut up and ready to transport to my tailgate: 
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
WARM WEATHER GAME DAY OUTFIT
The weather is predicted to be warm, but not as hot as it's been!  The Weather Channel forecast a few days prior is:  High of 81 degrees and lows in the low to mid 60s - Here's the plan, and I'm bringing a cute navy sweater from Anthropologie just in case...

Polyvore by cate-mcclane-bogue
And not to forget the guys that tailgate in the South...I found this fabulous hat (from Atlanta's Country Club Prep) that shows state pride in Georgia Tech colors:
Here's a great article about the company that was recently featured in the AJC: http://www.ajc.com/news/lifestyles/bringing-all-things-preppy-to-one-website/ng9dx/

For the Southern Gentlemen in your life, I also found these preppy GT pants at Pennington and Bailes when the weather turns a bit cooler!  Of course they have lots of schools to choose from. Love these:


THIS WEEK'S FABULOUS FIND!

My husband's birthday was September 9th, and for an early birthday present, I surprised him with this collegiate Yeti cooler.  Very cool that they were able to personalize it with a GT logo (even though I must say it's more a Tennessee orange than a Georgia Tech gold)!
They are supposedly THE best coolers on the market!
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
From their website:YETI Coolers were created by authentic outdoorsmen who leveraged their experiences afield resulting in a product that exudes simplicity, durability, and quality bound with intelligently designed features.YETI Coolers are rotational-molded, the same materials and process used to make whitewater kayaks. The process is more costly, but the result is a cooler with a dramatic durability advantage. And a YETI ice chest keeps ice longer – a lot longer – with over twice the insulation compared to most ordinary coolers.YETI Coolers are great for hunting, sport-fishing, camping, boating, rafting, tailgating, paddling, barbequing, oh, and beer drinking. In addition, the durability of YETI Coolers make them well suited for commercial uses (oil & gas, construction, and medical industries).


AND
Saw this on a Georgia Tech publication a week or so ago. Check out what Miss Georgia (and Georgia Tech student) will be wearing in a Miss America parade this month:


Miss Georgia (and Georgia Tech student) Maggie Bridges stopped by Bobby Dodd Stadium on August 28th and showed off her specially engineered shoes for the Miss America Parade next month.

And...our next tailgate party will be officially in the FALL!  Can't wait for "football" weather (and food and drink and clothes)!





























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